Mississippi Power seeks 8.5 percent increase in electric bills

Gulfport, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi Power filed its annual Performance Evaluation Plan (PEP) base-rate review and fuel cost adjustments rate filings on Wednesday as required by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

According to a Mississippi Power press release, the company is seeking a 4 percent increase in its PEP filing and a 4.5 percent increase in fuel costs for a total of 8.5 percent, resulting in residential customer using 1,000 kWh of electricity per month and seeing an increase of $11.45 per month (40 cents per day). Mississippi Power has not a PEP increase since 2013.

"We have been able to provide our customers with industry-leading customer service and performance without asking for a rate increase over the last four years," said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson. "While our employees have found efficiencies in our operations companywide, these filings are necessary to deliver the level of service our customers expect."

The PEP filing includes the costs of operating and maintaining company facilities such as the poles, wires, substations, generating plants and staff. According to the press release, it is not designed to address major capital costs such as the addition of new generating plants, such as the Kemper County energy facility, or major environmental control equipment.

Also, each year the Public Service Commission adjusts the company's prices up or down to reflect changes in the cost of fuel used by the company to generate electricity, and Mississippi Power does not earn a profit on these costs, which is reflected dollar-for-dollar in customers' bills.